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Thread: Best Personal Defense Load?

  1. Quote Originally Posted by Wolfling68 View Post
    On a side note, in the early 1900s, the US Military facing a drugged up foe (sound like something you might face?), detemined a .45 was required to stop them.
    The much lamented and lambasted .38 Long Colt still hasn't lived that down but it was more a victim of 'progress' in this case, not lack of ability.

    The .38LC was actually a pretty good mid bore pistol round for the period. Then the government got to 'improving' it and screwed the whole thing up. In it's original format using a .375" (+/-) 130 to 150gr heel lubed bullet, the .38LC is a pretty good round for the late 19th Century generating a velocity of around 800 fps. (Do those numbers sound familiar? That's pretty much identical to the standard velocity .38 Special lead bullet loads of modern times.) Remember, this is pre-Geneva Accords, so the bullet was all lead and made of a very soft alloy or pure lead and expansion even at the round's low velocities is gonna happen. Recoil is nominal with the BP load in a 'holster' pistol because of the low pressure and accuracy is actually very good.

    If the Gov't in it's impotent wisdom had just left well enough alone, it would have been a better performer against the Moros tribesmen. The heel lubed bullet (where the lube is on the outside of the case, exposed to the elements like the .22LR with only a little of the bullet swaged down to the internal diameter of the case so it can be crimped) was the government's big issue. Internally lubed rounds (modern bullets) like the .44 Russian had been introduced and were deemed superior to the earlier heel lubed design. The Problem was you ended up sacrificing some powder capacity (this is the end of BP era, so powder capacity equals velocity because even the early smokeless powders were bulky and volume for volume BP equivalents) AND the bullet's diameter was shrunk to meet the internal dimension of the case. To compensate for the drop from a .375" bullet to a .358" bullet (which was meant to shoot through the previous industry standard .375" bores, too), they went to a hollow-based bullet and that gave erratic accuracy performance at best. They kinda hoped the bullet would 'bump up' to the older bore size and that's a lot to bump up. Not only did you see a loss of velocity, but the bullet was made lighter.

    It still comes down to mass times momentum. If you decrease on one side, you gotta increase on the other to keep the status quo. Unfortunately, Uncle Sugar decided to decrease on both sides and run with it. So what the Army ended up with was a bunch of soldiers in the southern Philippines and stuck with a pistol shooting a slow, light bullet with erratic accuracy when they get charged by doped up religious zealots waving a parangs that have already tied tourniquets around their extremities so they won't bleed out so fast that they don't get to finish chopping the Americans into little pieces.

    No wonder they brought back the Single Action Army. A half ounce of lead traveling 850fps makes a much more lasting impression than a quarter ounce of lead doing 700fps.

  3. "Physiologically, no caliber or bullet is certain to incapacitate any individual unless the brain is hit."

    The one-shot stop is only possible "if the brain is hit" and more particularly, the cerebellum as I have previously stated.

    ANY other shot will stop dependant on tissue damage and damage to vital organs.... the shock value.... the bleed-out value. It really is just about that simple.

    Reports of assailants who have been mortally wounded MULTIPLE times, even through the heart itself, and who have survived to continue the fight or to make good their escape to some extent literally ABOUND. And they are factual. No doubt whatsoever. Especially in the case where the bad guy is hopped up on drugs or psychologically 'stoic'.

    Give me the heaviest, best exapanding or fragmenting, fastest round that I can reasonably handle and put on target while I am on the move and the assailant is on the move and THAT is the round that I want to be carrying. Unfortunately, there is no one round that fits the bill all the time and it will be different for different shooters.

    When legal, I carry 9mm., .40SW, and .45ACP and do not feel undergunned carrying any of them, preferring to carry .45 ACP in the fastest round I can handle and in the best engineered round I can afford or find.

    With .40 and .45 closing the gap in size with 9mm, I am seriously considering unloading my 9mm and .45ACP's in favour of one calibre, that being .40. (Or maybe it should be .357.... here I go again).

  4. Depends on the gun and how you can handle it I carry a Karh 9PM (9 MM). I used to use cor-bon 115 hp's that clocked 1240 fps out of my pistol. However, I found the recoil hard to control trying to put three rapid shots in the kill zonel. I am not recoil shy, at slow fire I had no problem. But physics is physics, you can't fight it. I read and article on different loads that advocated heavier, slow moiving bullets. I performed my own test on penetration and expansion and found the 147 gr winchester lawman loads penetratred just as deep as the cor-bon with equivalent expansion while only leaving my pistol at 900 fps. The recoil was considerably less than the cor-bon and I have no problem firing 3 shots rapid fire into the kill zone . Plus as an added bonus the lawman are half the price. The recoil of the lawman is equivalnet to my cheap practice ammo giving even more bonus. I was always concerned about that when I was packing with the cor-bon, not being able to afford to practice with it at a buck a round and the recoil being so much heavier than my practice loads. Not a problem with the lawman ammo. Now I feel much more confident in my performance and the performance of the load.

    Some men learn by reading, a few my experience, and some have to piss on the electric fence to find out for themselves. Will Rogers.

  5. #34
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    MA, Away from the liberal loonies...
    Try a few and see what works. I have a few that work for me.

    What works for me in my gun may or may not work for you in yours. Try a few and keep the ones that work. Good commercial ammo is best for PD. Don't try strange hand loads unless it's at the range for target use.

    Federal makes great ammo, Winchester as well, Hornady and CorBon...

    You can give peace a chance alright..

    I'll seek cover in case it goes badly..

  6. I have been doing a load of research into various rounds for self defense and the first thing that comes to mind is that you may want to look at what LEO's use as they have been tested in real life; having said that you may not be carrying a full size 1911 or whatever in order to be able to handle those rounds.

    I have generally settled on Gold Dots and HydraShocks in my 9mm and .45 subcompacts. I have put ported/compensated barrels on some of them.

    This is the never ending story.

  7. #36
    I like Speer Golddot 230 grain cal .45

  8. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by GregAllen View Post
    I'd have to say that the 110 gr +P Cor-Bon would be an excellent choice when using .38 spl. This string generated a nicely diversified set of opinions on the subject of self defense loads.
    I wanted to readdress something I said earlier, which was that lighter and faster has had better results. I should have gone on further to explain why that is. For one, it takes less energy to push a lighter bullet to greater speeds. Second and more importantly, hollow point cavities require pressure to begin and complete the expansion process. The speed of the projectile has a positive and direct coloration with the pressure exerted within the cavity. To demonstrate this effect I often ask the audience to picture a parachute. If the wind speed into the parachute is low, the parachute will inflate slowly. If the wind speed is fast, the parachute will inflate quickly and violently. While lead is not nylon, the effect is the same. Higher speed translates into higher pressure within the cavity thus causing a hollow point bullet to expand rapidly and completely early in the process of penetrating the target. Now, just as it requires energy to give motion to a projectile, energy is required to bring the same projectile to a stop. A fast moving and lighter projectile has a distinct advantage here when compared to a slower moving and heavier projectile. The lighter projectile can be stopped in a lesser distance than a heavy projectile when both are subjected to the same material or tissue. Where the heavy and slow projectile may often travel further within the tissue than the lighter projectile that was at one time moving faster. This is where energy transference comes into effect, with the ultimate goal being that the projectile comes to a stop within the tissue rather than totally penetrating the target. This is referred to as maximum energy transfer. Additionally, the faster a projectile is moving, the greater the diameter of the temporary cavity created. For this I often ask audience members to picture moving a finger through a pool of still water. Move the finger slowly and you will generate a small wake. Move the finger rapidly and you will generate a violent wake. Wakes are pressure waves. The more violent the pressure wave, the greater the destruction to tissue within the target. A bullet traveling through tissue creates a pressure wave. Tests using ballistic gelatin provide an excellent visuals of those pressure waves. Unfortunately, ballistic gelatin tests usually fail to provide the viewer with a distinction between the permanent and temporary cavities. The permanent cavity is the path of total and complete destruction. The permanent cavity the size of the projectile. The temporary cavity is the path of less than complete destruction caused by the pressure wave.
    Now, having said all this I cannot stress enough how proper training and weapon proficiency can effect your survival in a gun fight. You can carry the finest weapons and ammunition available, yet if you are incapable, or unwilling to put them to proper use, they are worthless. It is also worth mentioning as another poster already has stated, that any ammunition you use must be of superior quality, and must function properly at all times with the chosen weapon.
    I apologize if some might consider this post lengthy. I just wanted to provide you with a clear understanding of the physics involved. I hope the information is helpful. For those that are curious as to what my credentials might be, I was once a weapons technician and close combat instructor in the U.S.M.C., and then later police officer, and range officer for a law enforcement agency near Atlanta Georgia.
    I couldnt have put it better! This is probably the most truthful and logical explaination I've heard. We have loaded and played around with soooooooo many diff rounds and custom rounds. I myself prefer manufactured ammo for the purpose of Self Defense on the grounds of lagality. But by far the lighter faster rounds will outperform the slow heavy rounds when it somes to collateral damage and most inportanly stopping power if thats what you want to call it.

    For myself in my carry firearms I load Federal Hydra shoks or Remington Golden Sabre. My .45 being the Federal and my .40 being the Remingtons. Regardless of what anyone thinks or may say about Law Enforcement rounds, they are effective for the application. And like stated before, you must hit what you are aiming at for it to be effective. Point of Aim and Point of Impact should work together.
    NRA Certified Instructor
    US Army Retired
    Prior Federal Police Officer Instructor

  9. I like the 9mm federal hydra-shock. The reason is... I can fire multiple shots accurately out of Smith and Wesson 9mm compact in the time it takes me to fire one to two out of a 40 or a 45. I feel comfortable in that the hydra-shock probably will not hurt more than one person.
    Retired US Army Medic
    Proud Husband, Dad and Christian

  10. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by kn1080 View Post
    I like the 9mm federal hydra-shock. The reason is... I can fire multiple shots accurately out of Smith and Wesson 9mm compact in the time it takes me to fire one to two out of a 40 or a 45. I feel comfortable in that the hydra-shock probably will not hurt more than one person.
    Hydras are nice, I carry them in my XD .40 but they do not expand very well. This site has some really good data on a number of different rounds for many of the popular caliburs.

    Best Choices for Self Defense Ammo

  11. I really am starting to like 12ga with 00 buckshot; just wish I could carry it concealed without getting whistles from all the ladies.

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